Silly Rachel ? doesn?t she know that Willard Mitt and Rudy 9iu11ani only care about firefighters for photo ops? Why, they?re part of that dastardly government workforce that the Repugs hate (here)?
?and if there was a theme song for austerity, I wonder if this would be it?
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Happy Saturday night, folks! It's Blue Gal from The Professional Left Podcast, bringing you this week's podcast round up. Be aware that these podcasts are also available on i-Tunes, and may not be safe for work.
Reality Cast: The struggle over the Violence Against Women Act shows how out of control the war on women is, and conservative pundits can't help but demonstrate it. Also: Why are teen birthrates down?
Ring of Fire (video): Mike Papantonio says Republicans Are A Threat To National Security.
The News Dissector: Assessing May Day Occupy
Green News Report: New rules on fracking to protect drinking water --- same old objections from Republicans
Open Thread below....
Is Jamie Dimon advising Spirit Airlines on public relations? How stupid is the management of this airline and how do they stay in business? As I mentioned the other day, I ran some searches on their prices and they're nothing to get excited about.
Here's a good summary of the recent blunders by Spirit Airlines. Buyer beware:
* Categorically tell a former Marine who's dying of cancer you will not refund the ticket he bought, even though his doctor told him not to fly.
* More than double certain carry-on bag fees, since you're an airline who caters to people who don't want to or can't spend a lot of money.
* Tell folks who have a problem with it to get over it.
Now, no company of any size and in any business, publicly traded or otherwise, is required to be "nice." Corporations, one can certainly and fairly argue, exist at the most basic level to provide a good or service and to make a profit.
Still, at the end of the day, companies have actual real people as employees. And if you're the type of person who thinks most people are decent, you might assume those employees want the place they work to be interested in doing the right thing -- even if that means sacrificing a little profit every now and then. Let's take a look at what's transpiring at the Miramar, Fla.-based discount airline.
I feel wrinkly,Oh, so wrinkly,I feel wrinkly, and gritty and grey.... ?[...]
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Title: Loose BootyArtist: Sly & The Family Stone
Happy Cinco De Mayo! Shake that Saturday booty!
Dissenters' Digest takes a look back at the week's stories covering whistleblowers, watchdogs, and government accountabilityTorture is Back in the News.[...]
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So, let me see if I get this straight, you go on a racist rant, and you defend your idiotic comments by saying that the person you ranted about is a misogynist and a racist himself.
OK Mr.Mushnick, I get that you are with the New York Post, which automatically doesn't make you too bright in my book. But you don't address a problem by showing the world that you are on the wrong side of a larger one.
"NY Post sportswriter Phil Mushnick is firing back at critics after he suggested that the Nets should be renamed ?The New York N??s? in honor of co-owner Jay-Z.
Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N??s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B?-hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!After Twitter blew up over the piece, including comments from high profile figures like Questlove of The Roots, Mushnick did not back down. He claimed his work was ?mischaracterized,? and that he was not supporting the racist language, but criticizing Jay-Z for profiting ?from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture.? [Source]
NYRB caption: "An unemployed man selling
apples during the Great Depression, circa 1930s"
"The depression we're in is essentially gratuitous: we don't need to be suffering so much pain and destroying so many lives. We could end it both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines -- anyone, that is, except those who have actually studied the economics of depressed economies and the historical evidence on how policies work in such economies. . . .
"With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines. . . .
"[T]he experience of Obama's first term suggests that not talking about jobs simply because you don?t think you can pass job-creation legislation doesn't work even as a political strategy. . . ."
-- Paul Krugman, in "How to End this Depression,"
in the May 24 New York Review of Books
First, notice that Paul K carefully uses the word "depression." Indeed, later in the piece he carefully distinguishes between this depression and the recession that has gone with it: "It has been more than four years since the US economy first entered recession -- and although the recession may have ended, the depression has not."
The crux of the argument won't be surprising to anyone who has been following PK's writings:
The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can't have a short-run solution -- this may sound sophisticated, but it isn't. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.
But don't we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that "the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity." Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book [End This Depression Now; Norton, 2012] -- and show later in the data discussed in this article -- is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.
Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.
if Romney adhered to Republican orthodoxy, he would of course reject any government action along the lines I?ve advocated. It's not clear, however, whether Romney believes any of the things he is currently saying. His two chief economic advisers, Harvard's N. Gregory Mankiw and Columbia's Glenn Hubbard, are committed Republicans but also quite Keynesian in their views about macroeconomics. Indeed, early in the crisis Mankiw argued for a sharp rise in the Fed's target for inflation, a proposal that was and is anathema to most of his party. His proposal caused the predictable uproar, and he went silent on the issue. But we can at least hope that Romney's inner circle holds views that are much more realistic than anything the candidate says in his speeches, and that once in office he would rip off his mask, revealing his true pragmatic, Keynesian nature.
Of course, a great nation should not have to depend on the hope that a politician is in fact a complete fraud who doesn?t believe any of the things he claims to believe. . . .
[W]hat about the fairly likely case in which Obama is returned to office but a Democratic Congress is not? What should Obama do, and what are the prospects for action? My answer is that the president, other Democrats, and every Keynesian-minded economist with a public profile should make the case for job creation forcefully and often, and keep pressure on those in Congress who are blocking job-creation efforts.
This is not the way the Obama administration operated for its first two and a half years. We now have a number of reports on the internal decision-making processes of the administration from 2009 to 2011, and they all suggest that the president's political advisers urged him never to ask for things he might not get, on the grounds that it might make him look weak. Moreover, economic advisers like Christina Romer who urged more spending on job creation were overruled on the grounds that the public didn?t believe in such measures and was worried about the deficit.
The result of this caution was, however, that as even the president bought into deficit obsession and calls for austerity, the whole national discourse shifted away from job creation. Meanwhile, the economy remained weak -- and the public had no reason not to blame the president, since he wasn?t staking out a position clearly different from that of the GOP.
In September 2011 the White House finally changed tack, offering a job-creation proposal that fell far short of what was needed, but was nonetheless much bigger than expected. There was no chance that the plan would actually pass the Republican-led House of Representatives, and Noam Scheiber of The New Republic tells us that White House political operatives "began to worry that the size of the package would be a liability and urged the wonks to scale it back." This time, however, Obama sided with the economists -- and in the process proved that the political operatives didn?t know their own business. Public reaction was generally favorable, while Republicans were put on the spot for their obstruction.
And early this year, with the debate having shifted perceptibly toward a renewed focus on jobs, Republicans were on the defensive. As a result, the Obama administration was able to get a significant fraction of what it wanted -- an extension of the payroll tax credit, not an ideal stimulus but nonetheless a measure that puts cash in workers' pockets, and maintenance for a shorter period of extended unemployment benefits -- without making any major concessions.
In short, the experience of Obama's first term suggests that not talking about jobs simply because you don?t think you can pass job-creation legislation doesn't work even as a political strategy. On the other hand, hammering on the need for job creation can be good politics, and it can put enough pressure on the other side to bring about better policy too.
There?s much, much more evidence, but I hope this brief overview gives a sense of what we know and how we know it. I hope in particular that when you read me or Joseph Stiglitz or Christina Romer saying that cutting spending in the face of this depression will make it worse, and that temporary increases in spending could help us recover, you won't think, "Well, that's just his/her opinion." As Romer asserted in a recent speech about research into fiscal policy:#The evidence is stronger than it has ever been that fiscal policy matters -- that fiscal stimulus helps the economy add jobs, and that reducing the budget deficit lowers growth at least in the near term. And yet, this evidence does not seem to be getting through to the legislative process.
That's what we need to change.
Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do[...]
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Tiger is out. Phil is way back. Webb Simpson leads. Rory and Rickie Fowler have made bold moves and are in shouting distance of the lead. Should be a great finish tomorrow at Quail Hallow.
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